Sunday Challenge #2: Wake Up and Smell the Toast

by Elizabeth on January 8, 2012

Last week, we talked about attitude, which, of course, is largely all about our reactions to things.  This week, I’m going to ask you to put on your positive, constructive, big-girl panties and, frankly, knock it off.

Knock what off?  I’ll tell you what:  reacting.

Reaction is All About Letting Other People Drive

Look around you at all the people you know for a second.  How many of them are living life by autopilot, only reacting instead of creating their own lives?  How many of them, if you stopped them on the street right now, could close their eyes and tell you in detail what was going on around them…right up until you stopped them on the street?

How many of you could know what’s going on around you, even?

All too often, with all the crazy rushing and hustle-bustle going on in the world, we’re not even aware of what’s going on.  I’m not talking about the world, here, either — we’re all connected to CNN.  But all around us, in our non-boob-tubed life, right at this very second?  (I’m venturing a guess, by the way, that Moms are all over this already, and can tell you in great detail where their kids are.  It’s like a sixth sense, if my own mom is any indication.  I think that obstetricians secretly give all women in labor a second set of eyes in the backs of their heads.  It’s freaky.)

It’s Time to Get AWARE.

This world is amazing, people.  Every single thing in it is interesting.  Every little square inch patch of everything is, quite honestly, fascinating, if you take the time to look at it and really notice it.  To be aware of it.

There’s a section in Michael Gelb’s book How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci where he talks about the concept of saper vadere (how to see), which we’ll get into in more depth this week.  DaVinci strove daily to really see what was around him, to feel things and smell them and taste them — and thus, to honor them with attention and awareness.

Through this process of sensazione, everything became a miracle.  From an ant walking across a path to the perfection of the first vine-ripened tomato of the season…everything became a thing of wonder.

Cultivating wonder and awareness instills a deep connection to the physical world around you.  Your investment of awareness opens up gifts that the world is handing you every day, for free.


Your challenge this week (and mine, for that matter), is to stop running like a crazywoman at least once a day, and notice.  Slow down long enough to enjoy one of those little miracles going on three inches from our noses.  Go deep with it, and find what makes it interesting, what makes it a gift to you from the world.

Write it all down, every day.  A few lines is fine.  Or start a post in the forum for your week.  Whatever’s easiest for you.

Just notice, and be aware.



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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

zeeb January 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Love this challenge! HTTLLD is one of my most favorite books. I’m going to incorporate this into my art journal. If I can figure out how, I’ll post some pics.


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